The Phoenix Convention Center site of Phoenix Comicon.
Gage Skidmore Flickr Creative Commons
Fortune said officers working at the Phoenix Convention Center were alerted about noon to a suspicious man making threats against police on social media and the postings included photos of officers working the event.
According to USA Today, the 30-year-old man was carrying "three handguns and one shotgun", along with an assortment of knives.
The entertainment and comic convention began Thursday in the downtown area.
Sterling was wearing dark clothing but police didn't say if it was dressed up as a character. "This includes costume props for staff, crew, costuming groups, panelists, and participants in the masquerade ball". "We talk about always, you know, our message of 'See something, say something.' And this is a great example of that", said Phoenix Police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune.
So, what does this mean for those attending the Phoenix Comicon in costume?
The police report states that Sterling told them he stabbed the potential victim 15 years ago at an event and wanted to "finish the job".
The man was allegedly armed, and had to be subdued by multiple officers. Comic book and science fiction fans showing up at the Phoenix Comicon festival will have all prop weapons - including swords, sabers and fake guns - confiscated after a man showed up at the event with real guns and caused a security scare. Vendors must also advise those who purchase these prop weapons that the product must remained sealed for the duration of the event. Prop weapons, which were previously allowed to be brought on site pending security screening, will now be banned effective Friday. But she called the added measures an overreaction and overkill.
Fortune also said extra security would be put in place over the weekend and the number of entry and exit points would be cut down, which could lead to long lines.
Phoenix Comicon runs Thursday through to Sunday, May 25-28, 2017 at 100 N. Third Street, Phoenix AZ 85004. You can view that video here.
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